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of any Greek author.
Greek barism. And, which is most surprising, there is no city which a variety of accidents bad drawn together, to Latin
the ancient than at Athens. The reason of that is, be to secure their own property, and plunder that of their
Arcadians, Sabines, Latins, Hetruscans, Umbrians, Os-
of the Arcadian, that is, the Æolian || Greek, the Pe- || Strabo,
The Arcadians were a Pelasgic s tribe, and conse- s Strabo et poets, and bistorians, they stand as yet unrivalled, and quently spoke a dialect of that ancient Greek produced Herodotus. are like to stand so for ever; nor are they less to be ad- by the coalition of this tribe with the savage aborigines mired for the exercises and amusements they invented, of Greece. This dialect was the ground-work of the and brought to perfection, in the institution of their Latin. Every scholar allows, that the Æolian Greek, public games, their theatres, and sports.
which was strongly tinctured with the Pelasgic, was the No perfect Let us further observe, that in vain our readers will model
upon which the Latin language was fermed. translation
look for these admired excellencies in any of the best from this deduction it appears, that the Latin tongue
easy to prove, that the Pelasgi* and Hetrusci (x) were * Thucydi
the same race of people ; and if this was the case, their des, lib vi. Grciis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo, languages must have differed in their dialect only. Musa loqui.
The Umbrian or Celtic enters deeply into the com
position of the Latin tongue. For proof of this, we SECT. VIII. Of the Latin Language. need only appeal to Pelloutier, Bullet's Memoires de la Origin of
Langue Celtic, partie premiere, Abbé Peyron's Origin the Ro
This language, like every other spoken by barbari- of Ancient Nations, &c. Whether the old Celtic difof their ans, was in its beginning rough and uncultivated. fered essentially from the Pelasgic and Hetruscan, would language. What people the Romans were, is a point in which an be a matter of curious investigation, were this a proper * Tit. Liv. tiquarians are not yet agreed. In their own opinion subject for the present article. lib . cap 1. they were spring from the Trojans * ; Dion. Halicar.
The Latin abounds with oriental words, especially derives them from the Greekst; and Plutarch informs Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Persian. These are certainly † Antiq. Rom. lib. i. us † that some people imagined that they were sprung remains of the Pelasgic and Hetruscan tongues, spoken
Vita Ro- from the Pelasgi. The fact is, they were a mixture of originally by people who emigrated from regions where mul. people collected out of Latium and the adjacent parts, those were parts of the vernacular language.—The
(x) The Hetrusci were variously denominated by the Greeks and Romans. The former called them tuerque ; which was their true name, for they actually emigrated from Tarshish, or the western coast of Asia Minor, and consequently Herodotus everywhere calls them tugonvoi. The Æolians changed a into v; hence in that dialect they were called Tugonvos, from Tarsus. The Romans styled them Tusci, probably from the Greek verb duw, sacrifico, alluding to the skill which that people professed in the ceremonies of religion. They called their country Hetruris, we think from the Chaldaic word heretum, "a magician or soreerer; a name deduced from their skill 'in divination,
Latin Greeks, in polishing their language, gradually distorted language had opdergone its last refinement.-Hence the
Latin Language. and disfigured vast numbers of the rough eastern voca Latin accusative in um, instead of the Greek or. The Language. bles, which made a very great part of it.
vocative case, we imagine, was in this declension origipreceding section).
nally like the nominative. The Latins have no dual The Romans, of less delicate organs, left them in number, because, in our opinion, the Æolian dialect, their natural state, and their natural air readily bewrays from which they copied, had none. It would be, we their original. We bad collected a large list of Latin think, a violent stretch of etymological exertion, to de
words still current in the east ; but find that Thomas rive either the Latin genitive plural of the second deGlossary. sint and Ogerius (Y), and especially Mons. Gebelin, clension from the same case of the Greek, or that of the
in his most excellent Latin Dictionary, have rendered latter from the former; we therefore leave this anoma-
ly, without pretending to account for its original forma-
nearly similar to those of the Greek, we must beg leave 182
There are, besides, in the Latin a great number of to remit our readers to tbat section for information. How far
183 obsolete Greek words, which were in process of time The Latins have no articles, which is certainly a de- Deficiency the Latin resembles obliterated, and others substituted in their room ; so fect in their language. The Pelasgic, from wbich they of articles, the Greek. that, upon the whole, we are persuaded, that the most copied, had not adopted that word in the demonstrative
effectual method to distinguish the difference between sense. Homer indeed seldom uses it; and the probabi.
out by the bare words whether the word hominem inti-
an;" whereas in Greek letters were the same with the ancient Greek.-Formce it would be Βλεπω ανθρωπον, I see a man, Βλεπω τον
literis Latinis quæ veterrimis Græcorum, says Taci ay@gwtor, I see the man. Hence the first expression is Tacitus, tus ; and Pliny § says the same thing, and for the indefinite, and the second definite.
184 Anal truth of his assertion he appeals to a monument extant
The substantive verb sum in Latin seems to be partly Origin of lib. ii. in his own times.
formed from the Greek and partly not. Some of the the substanNat Hist.
These old Greek letters were no other than the Pe. persons of the present tense have a near resemblance to live verb, lib. vii.
lasgic, which we have shown from Diodorus Siculus the Greek verb św or upes, while others vary widely cap. 55.
(see preceding Section) to have been prior to the Cad. from that archetype. The imperfect præterite and
For the figure of these letters, see Astle, Po præterperfect have nothing common wilh the Greek stellus, Montfaucon, Palægrapbia Græca, Mons. Ge verb, and cannot, we think, be forced into an alliance belin, and our Plates XV. and XVI.
with it. The future ero, was of old eso, and is indeed That the Latins borrowed the plan of their declen- genuine Greek. Upon the whole, in our apprebension, sions from the Greeks, is evident from the exact resem the Latin substantive verb more nearly resembles the blance of the terminations of the cases throughout the Persian verb hesten than that of any other language we three similar declensions. In nouns of the first declen are acquainted with.
ISS sion, the resenıblance is too palpable to stand in need From what exemplar the Latin verbs were derived, and of oof illustration. In the second, the Greek genitive is os. is not, we think, easily ascertained. We know that at-ther verbs. . In Latin the o is thrown out, and the termination be tempts have been made to deduce them all from the comes i. In the Greek section, we have observed, that Æolic Greek, and that the Romans themselves were exthe sounds of , and u differed very little; therefore the tremely fond of this chimera ; but the almost numberLatins used , instead of v. The Latin dative ends in o, less irregularities, both in the formation and conjugation which is the Greek dative, throwing away • subscrip of their verbs, induce us to believe that only a part of tum, which was but faintly sounded in that language. them were formed upon that model. We are apt to No genuine Greek word ended in fe or m.
think that the terminations in bam, bas, bat, bamus, The Hellenes seemed to have abhorred that bellowing &c. are produced by their union with a fragment of liquid; it is, however, certain tbat they imported it some obsolete verb, which is now wholly lost. In the from the east, as well as the other letters, and that they verb amo, e.g. we are sure that the radix am is the Heemployed it in every other capacity, except in that of brew word mother; but bow am-aban, am-abo, am-arem closing words. In the termination of flexions, they were fabricated, and connected with the radical
is changed it into y.
not so easily determined. That Latin verbs are comThe Latins retained m, which had been imported to posed of an inflexible radix and another flexible verb, them as a terminating letter at an era before the Greek as well as the Greek, cannot be doubted; but what this
(Y) Græca et Latina lingua Hebraizantes, Venice 1763. If these books are not at hand, Dr Littleton's : Dictionary will, in a good measure, supply their place.
Si volet usus,
Latin flexible auxiliary was, we think, cannot now be clearly cause of an awkward circumlocution wherever it happens Latin
parts of the verbs as deviate from the Greek archetype the river drew up his army;" Imperator, cum transiisset
. Here cum transiisset flumen is
189 186 cision we leave to more able critics.
The two supines are universally allowed to be sub-Supines and Deficien The want of aorists or indefinite tenses seems to us a stantive nouns of the fourth declension. How these gerunds. cies in La- palpable defect in the Latin language. The use of assumed the nature of verbs it is not easy to determine. tin verbs. these among the Greeks entitled the writer to express When they are placed after verbs or nouns, the matter
the specific variations of time with more accuracy and is attended with no difficulty; but how they should ac-
Indeed we should imagine, that both the think, a stretch of prerogative.
The fabricators of the Latin tongue, however, elevated
The Latins, in reducing verbs to their four conjuga- them from their primary condition, giving them upon
supine like those of the second : thus domo, instead of
Quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loquendi.
any of the preceding, arises from the want of the
Different was left for cultivating the sciences. Accordingly the Greek and Latin languages, he will, we think, quickly genius of arts of war and government were their sole profession. be convinced that their characteristic features are ex- the Latin This is so true, that their own poet characterizes them tremely different. The genius of the former seems easy in the following manner :
and natural; whereas that of the latter, notwithstanding
the united efforts of poets, orators, and philosophers, Excudunt alii spirantia mollius æra, &c.
still bears the marks of violence and restraint. Hence The Latin
Another blemish in the Latin tongue is occasioned it appears that the Latin tongue was pressed into the deficient in by its wanting a participle of the præterite sense in the service, and compelled almost against its will to bend to participles. active voice. This defect is perpetually felt, and is the the laws of the Grecian model. Take a sentence of 3
this differ- cause.
Latin Hebrew, Chaldean, Arabian, &c. and try to translate lect of the Romans. The Pelasgic or Hetruscan part of Latin
words, and you will find it no difficult attempt; but Celtic part seems to have been prevalent, since we find
the translator equally skilled in both languages. 191
Varro, whom Cicero styles the most learned of all the
Before any man of considerable abilities, either light. Their etymologies are generally childish and
Italy about the time of Deucalion, the Greek itself was
lib. i. Without pretending to entertain our readers with a rude and barbarous; and, which is still of more consepompous
and elaborate account of the beauties of that quence, if we may credit Herodotus quoted in the forim perial language which have been detailed by writers mer section, that people had never adopted the Hellenic almost without number, we shall endeavour to lay be- tongue. Hence it appears, that the part of the Latin fore them as briefly as possible its pristine character, the language derived from the Pelasgic or Hetruscan (for steps and stages by which it gradually rose to perfec- those we believe to have been the same) must have tation, the period when it arrived at the summit of its ken a deep tincture from the oriental tongue. (See preexcellence, and by what means it degenerated with a ceding Section). If we may judge of the Celtic of that rapid career till it was lost among those very people to age by that of the present, the same character must likewhom it owed its birth.
wise have distinguisbed its structure. The Latin We have observed already, that the Latin tongue From these circumstances, we think it appears that Hence tongue was a colluvies of all the languages spoken by the va the earliest language of the Romans was very little di- little incomposed
grant people who composed the first elements of that re versified with infections. It nearly resembled the orien- flected in its chietly of Pelasgic
public. The prevailing dialects were the Pelasgic or tal exemplar, and consequently differed widely from the original and Celtic Hetruscan, which we think were the same ; and the modern Latin. The effect of this was, that the modern words. Celtic, which was the aboriginal tongue of Italy. Romans could not understand the language of their early
Hence the primary dialect of the Romans was composed progenitors. Polybius t, speaking of the earliest treaty + Lib. 3.
(z) For proof of this our readers may consult Abbé Pezron, Pelloutier, Bullet's Mem. Gebelin, Pref. Dict. Lat, and many others..
Latin time (A) to the present, that eren those who are most us to chatter French. Greek tntors were retained in
Latin Language. deeply skilled in the science of antiquities cannot under. every reputable family, and many Romans of the first Language
. stand the words of that treaty but with the greatest dif- rank were equally qualified to speak or write both in ficulty."
Greek and Latin. The original jargon of Latium was From this source we make no doubt has flowed that now become obsolete and unintelligible; and Cato the vast number of oriental words with which the Latin Ancient condescended to learn the Greek language language is impregnated. These were originally in.
196 flexible. like their brethren of the east. They were not To pretend to enumerate the various, and we may The olddisguised as they now are with prefixes, affixes, meta add inimitable, examples of the Augustan or golden age en age of
Rome. theses, syncopas, antitheses, &c. but plain and unadorn- of the Roman tongue, would be an insult to the undered in their natural dress.
standing of our readers : we shall only take the liberty Bent after After the Romans became acquainted with the Æo to translate a few lines from a most excellent historian
* Velleius Wards into lian Greeks, who gradually seized upon both coasts of who, had his honesty been equal to his judgment, Paterculus, cian model. Italy towards the south, which they called Magna Græ- might have rivalled the most celebrated writers of his lib. i. cap. cia, they began to affect a Grecian air, and to torture
country. Having observed, that the Greek authors,
From this quotation it plainly appears, that the Ro
mans themselves were convinced of the short duration of
the golden age of their language. According to the 195
most judicious critics, it commenced with the era of Ci. The prin
In this period we find Ennius, who wrote a Roman cero's oratorical productions, and terminated with the cipal authors by
history in hexameter verse in 18 books, which he called reign of Tiberius, or perhaps it did not reach beyond 107 whom it Annals ; most part of which is now lost. He likewise the middle of that prince's reign. It is generally be. Causes of
The degene translated Euhemerus de Origine Deorum; a work often lieved that eloquence, and with it every thing liberal, dually po- mentioned by the Christian fathers in their disputes with elevated, and manly, was banished Rome by the despo-Lein dished.
the Pagans. It sometimes quoted by Cicero. Then tism of the Cæsars. We imagine that the transition was tongue.
By their perseve
men as never adorned any other nation in so short a rance and active exertions, the spirit of these authors space of time. Despotisin, we acknowledge, might have was transfused into the Latin tongue, and its structure affected the eloquence of the bar; the noble and imaccommodated to the Grecian plan.
portant objects which bad animated the republican oraPlautus and Terence, by translating the comedies of tors being now no more : but this circumstance could Menander and Diphilus into their own language, tauglit not affect poetry, history, philosophy, &c. the Latin muses to speak Attic Greek. To speak that employed upon these subjects did not feel the fetters of language was then the ton of the times, as it is now with despotism. The age of Louis XIV. was the golden pe
racy of the
(A) This treaty, according to the same historian, was concluded in the consulship of Lucius Junius Brutus and